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Ebola and Beyond: High-Level Biocontainment for Healthcare Facilities MOOC

Education Highlight – The University of Nebraska Medical Center’s (UNMC) College of Public Health launched a massive open online course (MOOC), Ebola and Beyond: High-Level Biocontainment for Healthcare Facilities.

During the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, UNMC along with their clinical partner Nebraska Medicine was recognized as a national asset based on their “gold standard” for safety protocols and treatment of patients infected with the Ebola virus while overseas. To strengthen the nation’s capability to respond to highly infectious diseases, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services named ten Regional Ebola Treatment Centers, and UNMC/Nebraska Medicine is one of three original centers.

UNMC is now offering a free online course on the Coursera platform, Ebola and Beyond: High-Level Biocontainment for Healthcare. The 4-week self-study course providing health professionals in any facility with the knowledge and skills to effectively and safely care for patients infected with a pathogen that requires high-level biocontainment.

The course, led by Dr. Sharon Medcalf, Assistant Professor and Director for the Center for Biosecurity, Biopreparedness and Emerging Infections Diseases contains four different modules ranging from infection control basics to the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to strategies for infectious disease containment in the healthcare setting.

Participants will be exposed to a wide variety of information so that they leave the session feeling confident caring for patients who require a high level of biocontainment regardless of the infectious disease. A special focus is given to those administering care to ensure they are following the safest protocols to protect themselves, other patients in their facility and their surrounding community.

The course will launched this fall. After the initial course begins, enrollment becomes open all year, with new cohorts starting every four weeks. Participants are encouraged to complete self-paced modules to take full advantage of the information provided.

UNMC’s College of Public Health offers 6 online programs in the field of public health, including:

The University of Nebraska offers more than 100 online and blended degree, certificate and endorsement programs in 16 fields of study, on the four campuses of the University of Nebraska. The University of Nebraska Online Worldwide is NU’s university-wide distance education initiative, providing access to these programs at The university has made it a primary goal to continue expanding its online programs to meet the needs of students and help build a skilled workforce for Nebraska and beyond.
This article was written by Kenna Schneringer, Marketing Associate, University of Nebraska Online Worldwide.

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